Further on my two previous posts on choosing a tripod, How to Save Money When Buying a Tripod and More on Tripods here are a few more suggestions on models currently and easily available in Australia. Personally I love my Gitzo 3540XLS and the BH-55 head but not everyone has over a grand to spend on a camera support. Fortunately you can achieve similar results with half the cash. Remembering that the important things to look for in a tripod and head setup are that it extends to head height and gets close to the cround for macro work. And that it is easy to use and light enough that you will take it with you. So here are a few suggestions...
- Manftotto 055. There are Five different versions of the same set of legs differing in materials used for construction and centre column set up. Have a look at the 055XB (Aluminium) or 055MF4 (Mag Fibre).
- The MT 8271 from Giotto is a remarkable carbon fibre tripod offering simliar features to the Gitzo in a not quite as nicely finished package. It is amazingly cheep but I don't know how well they will last 3 or 4 years down the line like the Manfrotto and Gitzo counterparts.
- My favourite is the BH-55 from Really Right Stuff but if you aren't looking to support four kilograms of camera and glass the little brother the BH-40 is a great alternative.
- Manfrotto offer a couple of alternatives. The Hydrostatic range is superb and will support anything you care to throw at it. You can chose an arca-swiss compatable plate for it or purchase a Wimberly or RRS plate to use if you wish to use acra swiss plates (and you should)
- The MIDI ballhead range (Not to be confused with the MINI, which is no good for our applications) is a good cheaper lighter alternative to the Hydrostatic heads. I don't like the camera attachment plates on this range and they cannot be changed to an Arca-Swiss plate but it is a good alternative especially if you don't have and never plan on getting any lenses with tripod mounts. If you do or ever will get lenses with tripod mounts then you should consider getting an Arca-Swiss compatable head.